Monday, August 29, 2016

Better watch yo' mouth! (But I'm talkin' about French tennis!)

Here's a little something for the Today I Learned file. Today, I learned that if you're a French tennis player, you should not express an opinion. Three such brazen players -- Kristina Mladenovic, Benoit Paire and Caroline Garcia -- were suspended by the French tennis federation for complaining about some aspect of the Rio Olympics. Apparently, Paire complained about the lack of ranking points (a sentiment expressed by several other players and one that's not exactly wrong). Mladenovic and Garcia complained because they didn't know that they needed to be wearing the same colors because they were playing doubles. Mladenovic went on a Twitter rant after they lost, seeming to blame officials for not letting them know about the clothing requirement. Two things: How is it that every other team appeared to know about this? Either that, or they didn't take it to Twitter. Also, I wondered when I first read these tweets if I'd be reading them if Mladenovic and Garcia had won. In other words, did it seem that Mladenovic venting because she lost? (Yeap. Pretty much.)
Still, suspending players for saying bad things? Naturally, the royal "we" here at Tennis With Attitude does not like this. It's one thing if you're saying something racist, sexist or untrue about another player. But blowing off steam after a loss should not bring down such a heavy punishment. The same has happened to Hope Solo, the U.S. soccer player, for calling the Swedish players cowards because they didn't play to win at the Olympics. Yes, boneheaded thing to say. But Solo has been accused of much worse and has not incurred this level of punishment. These guys are about to get more heavily penalized for poppin' off by their respective governing agencies than supergenius Ryan Lochte is for stirring up an international incident while he was drunk.
Let's just let that marinate for a second, and then calm down and stop suspending people because they said silly things.

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